Each year Urban Initiatives expands its sports based youth development programming into new schools and communities across Chicago. The number of kids we serve grows every year and that growth leads to exciting opportunities and additions to the Urban Initiatives team. From Operations to Programming, our new team members will help Urban Initiatives continue to serve thousands of kids across Chicago.
Meet Preethi! Preethi joins the UI team as Take the Lead Manager. She will team up with Coach Jeff and help our Team Captains grow their leadership abilities throughout the school year.
What drew you to Urban Initiatives?
I am really interested in social emotional development and how we might use sports to build that. I briefly taught middle school special education and realized that it is very difficult to academically succeed unless students have external support and social and emotional skills. After playing competitive soccer all throughout my childhood, I believe that it helped develop essential life skills such as leadership, team work, and health awareness. I wanted to be a part of UI because it helps facilitate just that for middle school youth. I am also a huge policy nerd and would love to get involved in state-wide education and health policy in the future.
What are you most excited for in your new role?
Take the Lead is a fairly new program and I am excited to be part of the development so it can expand and effectively impact as many students as possible in the future. I am also excited to build relationships with students, teachers, parents, co-workers, and etc.
What’s your favorite sports or play memory?
Soccer was a huge part of my life growing up as my family pretty much lived on the soccer field every weekend. My favorite memories consisted of traveling for tournaments and cheering for my little sister on the sidelines. I enjoyed the sense of community being on a soccer team brings.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
Although I grew up and went to college in Virginia, I was born in Elgin! ( But, I still consider myself a Virginian 🙂 ).